Everybody I know has a different insight on Facebook. Some love it, some say they are addicted to it (some embarrassingly so), some people hate it with a passion, and others see it as a necessary evil. Regardless of where you sit on this spectrum, it is undeniable that Facebook has made a big impact in how we interact socially online and otherwise. So I was abundantly curious about what it would be like to completely disengage from Facebook and I thought I would give it a whirl.
As I write this, I’m pleased to say that I just finished a 2 month long Facebook Detox. That’s right. I wasn’t on Facebook at all for a full two months, and I can honestly tell you that I really didn’t miss much.
Here’s what prompted my Facebook purge:
- I don’t like the tone I’ve experienced on Facebook in the last year. Every time I log in, I’m inundated with political rhetoric that I really don’t enjoy. I’m already in the habit of receiving my news from reputable sources (CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times every morning on my iPhone), and I’ve found that I simply don’t need to receive news through the filter of an angry, frustrated or saddened friend or family member. This was simply making me feel worse about the state of the world rather than inspiring me to do what I can to change it.
- I’ve grown tired of the incessant ads promising that my business would “grow to six figures” if I followed someone’s 7-step process. Honestly, I started to get annoyed with my own industry. Most of the ads I was seeing felt disingenuous to me and I was tired of being inundated every time I went onto Facebook.
- Facebook is a time suck. Sometimes I would spend an hour on Facebook and wonder “what did I just get from that?” – I’d rather be with my son or on a walk in nature or connecting heart to heart with a friend.
Since I’ve disconnected from Facebook, I haven’t missed anything major. Big life changes occurring for my family and friends have been shared with me through phone calls or emails or, hilariously, through others who saw something on Facebook and told me about it. I did, however, miss seeing people’s pictures and their travel adventures.
I have talked to my colleagues for a few years now about, “Is it blasphemous for a business coach not to be on Facebook?” I wanted to do this detox partly to answer my inquiry. Interestingly, my business has not been impacted at all – in fact, this Facebook detox experiment has proven to me that I don’t need to be on Facebook for business reasons. Instead, I can focus on the multitude of other business strategies that many of us were doing long before social media took over our culture, anyway. (To see some ideas of other marketing strategies you could implement, check out these articles).
Although I’m no longer on my detox, I’m still on a very restricted Facebook diet. I go on a few times a week for about 10 minutes and do a quick scan. I look for the things that really peak my interest and I leave the rest. So far, this feels like a happy medium.
If you’ve been considering stepping away from Facebook, I encourage you to take the plunge and see how it affects your life. And I would love to hear about it! If you’ve done a Facebook Detox, what did you discover for yourself?